Huckleberry: No switchbacks, great views

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  • The Sprague Fire burns the flanks of Mount Brown as seen from the lookout.

  • 1

    The full length of the Sprague Fire was visible from the Lookout.

  • 2

    It was a good year for hucklberries in Glacier, despite the dry consitions, though the lower elevation berries are withering on the bushes.

  • The Sprague Fire burns the flanks of Mount Brown as seen from the lookout.

  • 1

    The full length of the Sprague Fire was visible from the Lookout.

  • 2

    It was a good year for hucklberries in Glacier, despite the dry consitions, though the lower elevation berries are withering on the bushes.

The Huckleberry Lookout in Glacier National Park is the only lookout trail in Glacier without a single switchback.

You start out going flat for a little ways and then slowly, but surely, start rising up through the Apgar Range. Six miles and about 3,000 feet later, you’re there.

It seems shorter than it really is. We suspect the gentle grade has something to do with it.

Views from the lookout are expansive — you can see the Park’s west side from stem to stern.

We went up on Sunday to get a better look at the fires. They weren’t really putting up much smoke, but one did get a sense of just how long the Sprague Fire is. I’m guessing around eight or nine miles.

The Adair Fire is also a bit more expansive from the lookout than it is from the ground. It’s a cool view, because you can see the old fire burns and the new fires burns laid out in front of you.

But fire watching aside, the lookout is best visited later in October, when the larch are turning.

The views, with the snow-capped peaks are truly memorable.

The trail, as its namesake implies, is rife with huckleberries. Most of the lower elevation berries were dried up by our brutally hot summer. But higher elevation berries, which benefited from a deep snowpack, were still rather plump.

Bears frequent this trail, so make sure you carry your bear spray. We heard one grumbling around in the slope below us.

A cool off-trail excursion is the ridge to the south of the lookout. If you follow it closely, you can cut the corner and then bushwhack down the slope to the trail below.

Make lots of noise, however. You never know when you’ll run into a bruin.

Also of note is this trail has no water save for a creek that crosses in the first quarter mile. We lugged more than a gallon between the two of us to be sure we had enough.

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